Peter "Blackie" Black: Guitar/Vocals (1981-Present)
Ray Ahn: Bass (1981-Present)
Peter Kostic: Drums (2002-2011)
Murray Ruse: Drums (2011-Present)
The Hard-Ons are a punk rock band from Sydney, Australia that originally formed in 1981. They have been called Australia's most commercially successful independent band, with over 250,000 total record sales.
The Hard-Ons' origins can be traced to Western Sydney's Punchbowl Boys High School, where all band members were students. The first version of the band featured Keish de Silva on guitar and vocals, Peter Black on guitar and Brendan Creighton on drums.
In 1982 Creighton left and was replaced by Ray Ahn on bass guitar with de Silva taking over the drumming. Being too young to play in pubs, the band featured at birthday parties and school dances. On 20 June 1984, the Hard Ons played their first official show at the Vulcan Hotel in Ultimo. Quickly gaining a considerable following, the band released its debut EP Surfin' On My Face the following year. This was the beginning of a series of releases for the band that netted them remarkable run of 17 consecutive #1 listings on the Australian independent music charts.
Subsequent recordings like Smell My Finger, Dickcheese, Love Is A Battlefield Of Wounded Hearts and Yummy! set the blueprint for the 'Hard-Ons sound': messy pop-punk with metal and psychedelia elements. The band also showed their independent punk spirit, with the members deliberately controlling their own careers: recording, booking and promoting themselves, creating their own artwork (mostly done by Ahn), choosing support bands and even managing the merchandise desk whilst on tour.
While maintaining a solid if underground following in Australia, the Hard Ons were particularly popular in Europe, scoring a Top 10 hit in Spain and a Top 5 slot in Greece with their 1989 album Love is a Battlefield of Wounded Hearts. That album also made the Top 5 in the NME chart. At the time, this made the Hard Ons only the third Australian band after Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Go Betweens to have achieved this. In 1989 the group also recorded a split EP with British band The Stupids. Two years later they teamed up with Henry Rollins and released a version of "Let There Be Rock" that was released in a limited edition on 10" vinyl.
Following the release of 1993's Too Far Gone, the band members announced that they were breaking up, with an interest in pursuing projects outside the Hard-Ons' style of music. This break was interrupted by a 'reunion' gig in October 1997, which was followed by the release of a new EP ("Yesterday And Today") and a "best of" Compilation album in 1998. Following This Terrible Place... in 2002, the band's first line-up change occurred, with Keish de Silva deciding to leave the band. To accommodate this, Peter Black took up full-time vocals with the group and Front End Loader/Regurgitator drummer Pete Kostic was brought into the line-up. This new trio released Very Exciting!
In 2003, their first album for Chatterbox Records. 2003 Split-hard-ons & boom boom kid. In 2005, the 21st anniversary of the band's first pub gig was celebrated by Australian and European tours as a four-piece, with Kostic drumming and de Silva on vocals. Although technically still a three-piece band, it is clear that Keish De Silva still shares a close relationship with his old band. Recordings were made in 2006 with contributions from all four band members (though primarily Black, Ahn and Kostic) with the intention of releasing a double album of material. This project was eventually released as two separate albums: the 'poppier' Most People Are a Waste of Time (2006) and the 'heavier' Most People Are Nicer Than Us (2007), with subsequent tours around Australia. The band recorded with U.S. comedian Neil Hamburger on guest lead vocals in January, 2008. Songs from these sessions were subsequently released in 2010 on 7".
2010 also saw the Hard-Ons release the album "Alfalfa Males-Once Summer Is Done-Conform Or Die" to rave reviews worldwide.
In 2011 it was announced that Pete Kostic will be leaving the group after their European Tour and Murry Ruse would be taking over.
2014 sees the Hard-Ons turn 30! An anniversary Australian Tour esures with Murray, Blackie, Keish and Ray playing 'requests only' featuring songs from the Keish era before he left the band.